Hodder Children’s Books
Available from the Robert Muchamore Website
Lone Wolf by Robert Muchamore is the latest novel in the CHERUB series that once again delivers a compelling story at a brilliant pace, capturing readers in the early chapters and holding them until the end.
The story centres primarily on Fay, a young girl aged beyond her years. She is caught in a world that she will have to fight to survive in, not knowing who to trust other than herself. Following Fay on her quest for revenge is Ning, who can’t trust Fay but whose cooperation is vital to the success of new protagonist Ryan. A web of deceit, violence and crime leaves the reader constantly questioning where the story is heading and if they know all the facts going forwards. This results in a suspenseful story filled with twists and betrayal.
The book is not without its flaws. After sixteen books it could be suggested that Muchamore is going through the motions and running low on ideas. Older fans of the series may be starting to grow weary of the situations that such young characters find themselves in. Taking the book at face value, Muchamore provides a gripping book that is ultimately designed to attract new, younger fans as opposed to persisting with already established characters.
One of Muchamore’s main strengths is the way he develops characters. Fay, as the anti-heroine, is still likeable with the ability to draw sympathy from the reader. Quick-witted dialogue is often exchanged, lacing the relationships between characters with intrigue. James from the previous trilogy returns but takes a more reserved role, while still providing a familiar feeling for older readers.
Although the presence of humour is significantly lessened than in the previous novels in the series, it is still delivered well, providing a break from the fast paced nature of the book. I found Lone Wolf to be a grittier tale than those before it, as more emphasis on humour would have diminished the plight of Fay on her quest for revenge. The introduction of new characters interacting with previously well-established protagonists can also be jarring and unnatural, particularly as the book diverges more towards a grittier story as opposed to suspense. This could be contentious for fans of the CHERUB series and they may be divided following the publication of Lone Wolf.
Ultimately, Muchamore returns with another strong read, though is maybe more engaging for readers who are new to the series. However, it is both perfect for younger readers and yet still appeals to older generations. Lone Wolfanother strong entry to a well-established and widely acclaimed series.